Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We had another wonderful Christmas and this year we got to share it with Tina!
We enjoyed all the usual traditions like decorating the tree, making a gingerbread house, baking and delivering treats to our friends, shopping, wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas Music and remembering the sacred story of our Saviors birth.

This year the kids received a special surprise from Norway! They each got their very own Advent Calender filled with little Chocolates for each day counting down to Christmas!

Thank you Sparengen Family!!!

Christmas Morning was full of fun Surprises!
Eliza and  Caleb got Ripsticks
Sarah got a Beautiful CTR ring (which is hard to see in the picture) and Tina got nail polish, and gift cards.

Dad got a new TV!!

And Mom got Rosie!! (but we already knew that.)

What a beautiful mess!

Merry Christmas!


When we went to the valley for Grandpa's Funeral, I received an early Christmas gift from Adam. It was necessary to get it early because Adam's sister was keeping it at her home and was a little hard to keep hidden!

Her name is Rosie! She is a ten month old Shih tzu/yorkie mix. She had belonged to an old friend of ours who's husband had recently passed away. This sweet woman has two other dogs, and this little girl was just a bit to much for her to handle so she was looking for a new home for her.
Somehow, Adam's sister Heather (who is also friends with Rosie's owner) was able to convince Adam that we needed her for Christmas! I will love Heather forever, because Rosie is so perfect for our family! 
She doesn't shed, she never poos or pees in the house and she is so kind and gentle with little kids.  She loves to play fetch and wrestle around with our kids and she also loves to just sit and cuddle with anyone who needs it. 
Rosie let my  niece Grace  carry her around like this  for  well over ten minutes,  She patiently "hung in there" the entire time and never tried to wriggle free. She is such a kind  little dog.

Eliza sleeps with her every night.

Thank you Adam! Best Christmas gift EVER!!!

Temple Lights

On Saturday evening, after spending the day with Gurrs at Grandpa's funeral, we took the kids to see the Christmas lights at the Mesa temple. The last time we took the kids to see the lights, they were 3 years old! They had no memory of ever going. I'm so glad we found the time to go and enjoy the spirit of Christmas in such beautiful surroundings.

Thomas Robert Gurr

Early Sunday morning on the 15th of December, we received a call letting us know that Adam's Grandpa, Thomas Gurr had passed away.
He had been very sick for quite a while, and was in a great deal of pain, so the news came as a bit of a relief for us. He will be missed, but we are happy that he is free from pain and he gets to be reunited with his loved ones who have already left this mortal life.
His funeral was held on Saturday, the 21st of December in Mesa. There were so many wonderful memories shared, but there were two that touched me the most. They were both told by Bishop Nevin. Grandpa served as his executive secretary while he was bishop. This calling required Grandpa to be sitting at a desk for long periods of time every Sunday. Due to some previous health problems, and a medical procedure that didn't go so great, It was very painful for grandpa to sit for very long.  He never said a word of his condition to bishop Nevin, and it wasn't until some time later that the bishop found out that Grandpa would fast every Sunday in order to make the discomfort more bearable.  Another example the bishop shared was that one evening he casually mentioned to grandpa that his car had been acting up and he just hoped it would get him to work on time in the morning.  When the bishop went out to his car the next morning, he noticed Grandpa was parked out in front of his home. Grandpa said he just wanted to be there to give the bishop a ride in case his car didn't start. Come to find out, since Grandpa didn't know what time the Bishop needed to leave for work, he had been waiting there for him since 4:30 in the morning.
I am sure there are hundreds of stories like these  that could be told of Grandpa. He showed his love for the Lord through his service in the church and to his fellow man. I am grateful for his exsample and for his legacy.
I know that if we live as we should, we will get to see grandpa again. I am so grateful to know that through our Savior, families can and will be together forever.
We Love you Grandpa.

Weekend in Prescott

The day after the Trio's Birthday, we loaded up and drove over to Prescott to help my sister Lydia and her family get settled into their new home.  I helped hang pictures, and re-upholster  dinning room chairs, while Adam was busy with his excavator, digging a hole to sink their trampoline and moving around large boulders in their back yard.  We  always have fun with the Hulses. Even when we are working, and we can't wait to go back!


The Trio turned 10!! They had another great birthday this year. For their birthday I took  the girls to Wal-Mart and they got to get their ears pierced! They were really nervous,  but "big sis" Tina was there to help keep them calm and brave!
Eliza went first!

Sarah was totally nervous!!! 

My girls are growing up!

Usually, we go out to eat on the night of their birthday, but this year the kids chose to each have a friend over for pizza and games. Caleb invited his friend Jaxson, Sarah invited her friend Bailey and Eliza invited her friend Serena. 

They each got an Ipod Nano complete with their favorite songs and the Frozen Soundtrack already downloaded!


Holy Moley, I can't believe my babies are 10! The night of their Birthday I was lamenting to Adam that we are pretty much 1/2 way through raising our children. He said "Yep, and that was the easy half!" ..... He did not help my mood.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful, quiet Thanksgiving at home this year.  We usually have Thanksgiving with our Gurr side of the family on the "odd" years, but their Thanksgiving plans weren't made until last the minute and I thought it would be nice for Tina if we just had a quiet cozy feast at home this year. Grandma and Grandpa Quist were able to join us and we had a wonderful time. Having a small group allowed me to use my good China. The girls did a great job setting the table and all the food turned out to be so good!

Adam and I took Tina Black Friday shopping later that night. We're still not sure what she thought of that crazy tradition, but we were able to get some great deals on Christmas gifts!

On Friday we all went and saw the movie Frozen! We loved it so much and can't wait to see it again!

While we missed our large extended families this year, we were so thankful to get to spend time together with "just us".  We all had a wonderful weekend.

Cousin Time!

My brother Paul's family came up to visit us for veterans day weekend! we had so much fun spending time with them visiting and playing games.
Robert and Conner taught my kids ho to play Settlers of Cattan! It's now one of Caleb's favorite games!

Happy Halloween

We had an awesome Halloween this year and enjoyed sharing some our traditions with Tina.

We had so much fun Teaching her how to carve a jack-o-lantern!

From Left to right: Tina's , Mom's, Sarah's, Eliza"s and Caleb's !

Every year the Kids beg us to take them to the "haunted Mansion" on Main street. This year they promised us they wouldn't get scared because "they watched the Hobbit and that's pg-13"!  Okay, but we warned them, once we pay the entrance fee there's no going back, they'd have to go all the way through the Haunted house!
Well it took about ten seconds for Sarah to start crying and for Eliza to get Screaming mad at everyone for scaring her and her sister! Haha! Caleb was the only one who actually enjoyed it and wants to go again.....   Fun times.  :/

The kids all came up with and made their own Costumes this year. (Well, I helped a little.) I think they turned out great!
We held our annual neighborhood Halloween pot-luck and Trick or treat hayride! We had a great turn out, with lots of yummy food and good friends! The kids all seemed to have fun and enjoyed the hayride.

Happy Halloween!!

Fast and Furious!

This past fall, Eliza and Sarah played soccer. Their team was named "Fast and Furious"! And boy, were my girls fast! I am always surprised at their athleticism, because...well, for those of you who know me know I'm SO NOT  athletic. Eliza was the fastest girl on her team! Sarah wasn't far behind her. Their team started the season with a few losses, but the ended the season with some wins!
I am so proud my girls. They are awesome!

Sarah's favorite position was goalie.

Sarah always gave 100% 

Check out Eliza, stealing the ball from the other team! She is so good at that!

I love this picture of Eliza! She got tripped, but was able to stop herself from falling completely. She  actually  ran a few yards on all fours before getting upright and still managed to beat the girl who tripped her to the ball!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


About a month ago, we had the opportunity to to go to the Junction Creek cabin with Richard and Calli and their two little ones.  The Cabin needed a bit of work done and we were anxious to show Tina more of our beautiful country. We traveled with Richard and Calli, who were very generous  and allowed us to ride with them in their large passenger van. We enjoyed Tina's reaction to several of the sights along the way. Views we'd seen so many times that we forgot they were special, were suddenly wonderful again.
We arrived at the Cabin late Thursday night and went right to bed. On Friday, while Adam and Richard worked on the cabin, the kids and Tina and I did a bit of buggy riding and watched some movies. later that day, we helped stock firewood at the cabin and at Jason's (Adam's cousin) cabin. We spent the evening enjoying a campfire at Jason's cabin, and making s'mores!
On Saturday we went on more buggy rides and that evening we drove back down to Durango and went to the Bar-D Chuck-wagon. The food and entertainment there is awesome.
We stayed Saturday night at Jason's home and after attending Sacrament meeting on Sunday morning, we headed home.
It was a quick trip, but we had so much fun. Tina really enjoyed it as well and we are all looking foreword to going back soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First day...FAIL!!!

On the first day of school, I accidentally slept in!! I woke up just 20 min. before we needed to leave for school. I frantically packed lunches while the Kids ate breakfast and got ready to go.
I managed to get one picture before we rushed out the door.
It's going to be a great School year!

Welcome Tina!

A couple of months ago, a friend of ours mentioned a need for host families for several exchange students who needed homes for the school year. I told her I would think about it, and talk to Adam, but when I casually mentioned it to Adam, he didn't seem to keen on the idea so the subject was dropped and forgotten about. When I saw my friend in church a week later, she asked me if we had thought about it, and I told her we decided not to host. She kindly thanked us anyway and that was the end of it....but not really. The thing is, right after I told her "No" I felt like I gave her the wrong answer.  I couldn't get the thought out of my mind! It kept nagging me and it kept me awake at night. I told Adam how I was feeling, and together we decided we needed to look into what was involved and expected of a Host Family. Over the next couple of days we studied and prayed about it and talked to the trio. I asked my friend if I could see some of the applications of the students wanting to come. The very first application I saw was for a girl named Tina from Norway. As soon as I saw her picture and read her application, I knew we would be her host family.  The next several days were spent filling out our own application and completing background checks. After a home inspection visit and a little more paperwork, we received the news that we would get to host Tina! We found out later, that Tina had another host Family all lined up, and was excited to come to Snowflake, but the mother of that family found out she needed surgery and would not be able to host after all, so we said yes at just the right time for her!  Tina wanted to come live and study in America so she can improve her English, and experience the American way of life!
Her First day in AZ, and she made the front page news! The large picture is her and I hugging while the girls looked on. In the lower left picture she is in the background with her hand covering her mouth .
 It was an emotional greeting for all of us.

On August third, we welcomed Tina to our family! She will be with us for the next ten months.
We love having Tina in our home. She is very sweet and helpful.  She enjoys school and has already made some friends and enjoys playing volleyball after school. The trio adore her, and the attention she gives them.
She is adjusting to our routines. Some of our routines, (family scripture study, and prayer, and church) are a little harder for her to adjust to, but we can tell she is trying and we appreciate her efforts, especially since we told her she doesn't have to join us if she is uncomfortable, but she usually does anyway.
Right after she arrived, we went down to the valley to visit family and do some school shopping. She enjoyed the mall and often expressed how big everything is here.
 We let her drive our buggy around for a bit so she could practice driving and she LOVED IT!. She is hoping to be able to get her drivers licence while she is here and have it transferred when she returns to Norway. (I believe it is more difficult and costly to attain a drivers licence in Norway which is why she would like to get one here.)

We look forward to taking Tina along on our adventures and showing her more of our beautiful country.  


Check out this sweet little guy!! The kids held him for a bit, then we let him go so he could find his momma! He was so cute!

Little Makover

We have been busy getting ready to host an exchange student for the school year. Her room is upstairs where all the walls are painted a different primary color so to make things easy for myself, I decided to have her bed and furnishings be black/white so it would be easy to coordinate .  I wanted her to have  a little desk in her room for her studies, but we were on a tight budget. Luckily I found a sweet desk at a yard yard sale for just $12.00!! The bottom drawer handle was already black, so I painted the other knobs black to match and gave the desk a quick white wash. I found the chair at my favorite thrift shop for $3.00!!! Yes, it was UGLY, but I also managed to find two yards of black corduroy for a  $1.00!! With a quick spray of white paint and a little work with my trusty staple gun, I managed to makeover the chair in less than an hour. I am happy with how it turned out.

Quist Family Campout!

The whole Gang!! Thanks for the picture Suzi!

On July 22nd we drove up to Greens Peak for a family reunion. My Parents and all of my siblings (except Angela who is serving a mission) were there. When we arrived, we weren't too sure we wanted to stay. Right after we started setting up camp it started pouring rain!!! It rained hard for over an hour. But once we finally got everyone's camps set up and a fire started the rain let up and we were able to enjoy some nice weather. The trio had SO much fun with all of their cousins. They played 'Kick the Can' for hours every day and never got bored. We went on Buggy rides, made a zip-line, went on a hike, played games, visited around the campfire and made so many wonderful memories.

Kick the Can!

This Guy wandered into our camp just as we were getting ready to leave!